Top 12 New Year’s resolutions for the internet

Published by siroutlier_tt2i6p on

It’s the end of the year and that can only mean one thing… drinking ourselves into a stupor. Then, after we clean ourselves up, we make a pedestrian effort to be a better person with an annual New Year’s resolution. We usually stick to this pledge all through the year, sorry, I mean, month of January, and drop the pretense just in time for Valentine’s Day. Anyway, enough of my projecting. I thought for this year’s exercise in futility I’d make a list of the top resolutions for the 800-pound gorilla living rent free in everyone’s minds, homes, and pockets. So, without further ado, here are the top New Year’s resolutions for the internet.

12. Just say no to Spam – Poor Spam, some how it went from a pseudo meat product and Monty Python bit to the bane of everyone’s existence. If only we could have a Spam-free… okay, how about Spam-lite year, where our inboxes, voicemails, and websites were not inundated with ads for products even QVC shoppers avoid.

I’d wager that 72% of all the physical mail I get is Spamish. This and birthday cards from my Nana are what keeps the Post Office in business.

11. Be kinder – I get it, the world has devolved into a bitter, petulant, and incendiary place, quite the opposite of Louis Armstrong’s most famous song. To no one’s surprise, the internet has a lot to do with this. Sure, this message will never reach a Russian Troll Factory, who’s existence is to sow the seeds of discord to weaken a nation. But to everyone else, I remind you before posting that exasperating comment, ask yourself, WWMRD (what would Mr. Rogers do)?

Or, WWCBD… everyone is a complete a-hole to ole Chuck and he’s still kind.

10. Use an editor – Hey, if there were a competition for wosrt speller, I could win that every year with my tongue tied behind my back. But there ain’t, and if we want to communicate effectively, we must dot our Ts and cross our eyes. So, instead of being proud of run on sentences, grammatical errors, and Titanic-sized paragraphs, maybe download (or marry) a grammar writing editor.

The more red, the more love… at least that’s what I tell myself. Which means all my teachers loved me the mostest.

9. Don’t die on any hill – It seems like the internet exists to provide an endless amount of cat videos, pornography, and discourse. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a spirited and fun debate, but that’s rarely the case online. It quickly regresses into a black hole of logical fallacies, name calling, and the worst of all, tired cliches (according to the internet, there must be an infinite number of parents’ basements). So, the next time you are waist deep in a toxic cyber-argument, take a deep breath, turn off your phone/laptop, and have a strudel.

Always remember, there are three things one must never discuss online: politics, religion, and Star Wars.

8. Fill that negative space with positivity – One of the hardest things for a human to do is to overcome their own negative attitude. It’s hard to be positive when you are bombarded with nonstop negativity like a sunbather at the equator. But think, what if the overwhelming majority of comments, tweets, and posts were productive and affirmative? Instead of instinctively responding with hostility and acrimony, we replied with compassion or at least constructive criticism. Don’t immediately think of other people as archenemies, think of them as potential friends… that you can borrow money from someday.

Find your happy negative space!

7. Be helpful not hurtful – If you were stuck on the side of the road with a broken down car, what’s better, someone stopping to help or someone slowing down and pelting you with doughnut holes? Unless we are hangry AF, I think the answer’s obvious. Now, apply that to your day-to-day online interactions. Someone on NextDoor is asking for a plumber recommendation, maybe don’t reply “sounds like you need a stool softener” no matter how much it makes your 10-year-old inner child cackle with laughter.

When you help someone that’s not yourself, you are helping yourself. Let yourself chew on that little nugget.

6. Less selfies more groupies – Okay, maybe I could word this one a little better, but you get the idea. Narcissism seems to be the buzz word of the millennium and maybe, just maybe, that’s not a good thing. Instead of everyone wanting to be the star of… well, everything, let’s all work together to create a more supportive community.

Togetherness makes the dream effortless… patent pending.

5. Be honest – I should give a shout out to my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Bumgardner, because she was spot on; honesty is the best policy. Like every rule, there’s exceptions of course (“Santa is real” and “that makes you look positively svelte”). Whether you’re George Santos, Bill Clinton, or work for Fox News, lying truly hurts everyone in the long term. If you are reposting (cause let’s face it, you’re clearly not smart enough to come up with this propaganda on your own) anti-vaccine lies, flat Earth “theories”, election fraud deception, or climate change denial, you are detrimental to society. I know fact checking is work, hence why so many people shy away from it, but it’s important to get out of your echo chamber and ask, “is this really true?”

Lies come with a price whereas the truth will set you free.

4. Shed those extra pounds of hate – It’s so much easier to make a fist than to extend a hand… that’s got to be a line from a folk song, right? I think what that fabled and fabricated artist is saying is that nowadays, it’s easier to hate than to love. Love takes bravery and enlightenment whereas hate is simply another shade of cowardice. Unless we’re talking about hating the Yankees, then it fuels the spirit of our being. JK Yankee fans, we love you too. Point is, if you choose to stop hating (the Yankees, Democrats, Twilighters, etc.) then your soul will automatically become more buoyant.

You can lose that hate weight if you stop drinking the haterade. I do miss saying haterade… can we please bring that back.

3. Welcome diversity, equity, and inclusion – Instead of fearing others, lets embrace them. Unless we’re talking about kancho. Sorry, but pranking someone by unexpectedly poking their anus is just wrong on every level. Why is it that no one plays the victim better and more often than those with the most power? Kinda ironic, don’t ya think? Maybe instead of review bombing every movie or show that doesn’t promote a straight, white, patriarchal agenda, you give it a chance. Try watching it with an open mind, you may just learn something that will make you a better inhabitant of the world.

Many hands make invite work… just think about it.

2. Open your heart – Raise your hand if your mental health could use an uplifting workout. Come on, it’s okay, don’t be shy… there, that’s what I thought. If you could look around the room, you’d see that most people are raising both hands, looking like they were at pretty much any party in the 90s. This isn’t just a popular song by Madonna, it’s a call to everyone to talk openly and honestly about their feelings. And this means you, internet. Maybe part of what ails you is you’ve been bottling up all those emotions for so long they are slowly seeping out like hazardous waste.

Good mental health starts with the heart… that’s just plain, old biology.
  1. Hack your soul – The worst offenders of the WWW are no doubt those vile creepy cretins who try and worm their way into our lives, stealing both our online and real-world identities. I know that none of those modern-day douche pirates will read this and question who they are, what they do, and why they do it, but it’s nice to dream that they received a conscience for Christmas a la Ebenezer Scrooge. Then, instead of spreading misery and pain, they might reform and actually do something beneficial for humanity… like being a dark knight hacker who goes out and fights against the evil netizens and makes the internet a safer place for all. Did I just create the most boring superhero ever? I think I did.
“I AM VIRUS… I AM THE NET… I AM HACKMAN!”

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